Brine Tank Contamination?


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Old 09-02-10, 07:53 AM
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Brine Tank Contamination?

We use potasium pellets in the tank. How susceptiple to contamination is the brine tank? For example, one day I dumped a bag of pellets into the tank and the pellets ended up all on one side of the tank so I reached with my hand into the brine solution to evenly distribute the pellets across the tank. Could doing that cause a problem with contamination?

I don't really understand how this all works and worry that the water in the brine tank can contaminate the drinking water.
 
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Old 09-02-10, 01:41 PM
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Fluid from the brine tank is used to regenerate the resin--it is drawn into a flow of water through the resin bed. Subsequently the resin bed is rinsed with fresh water.

So minor amounts of dirt have no impact. On the other hand bacterial contamination is a potential problem.

If you are concerned there is bacterial contamination use about 3oz of household bleach--and pour it into the round tube in the brine tank that contains the float mechanism. Initiate a manual regeneration. This will sanitize the resin bed.
 
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Old 09-02-10, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
If you are concerned there is bacterial contamination use about 3oz of household bleach--and pour it into the round tube in the brine tank that contains the float mechanism. Initiate a manual regeneration. This will sanitize the resin bed.
There hasn't been a regeneration cycle yet so only the brine tank would be at risk of contamination. Can I put the 3oz of bleach directly in the brine solution and then just let the system do the scheduled regen? It'll be a few more days before a regen is scheduled.

I can't help but wonder how bacteria can grow in a potassium brine solution.
 
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Old 09-02-10, 06:10 PM
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You could do that.

If you are on a municipal supply that is chlorinated there should be enough residual chlorine in the water to deal with any minor bacterial contamination without adding extra chlorine.
 
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Old 09-03-10, 06:13 AM
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Thank you for the help.

We have a well here, which I've had to add bleach to in the past. Probably getting close to time to do another water test. Ah...so many things to do.
 
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Old 09-07-10, 01:19 PM
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Riverrunner - careful with that chlorine

I've just setup a Sears 300 water softener, and they suggest 3 Tblsp mixed in the tube inside the brine tank as Bob999 indicates - you're also suppose to add 3 gallons of clean potable water to the larger brine tank - with or without salt/potassium and then initiate a regen.

Don't know if 3 Tblsp's chlorine bleach corresponds to 3 oz. but you want to be careful with too strong a chlorine since that will tend to ruin your softener pellets. Found this out the hard way with a auto-pump chlorinator system that the installer had us initially use too strong a mix - he had us use 1 gal of bleach to 3 gal of water; even with a slug-feed system that was way to strong. I wound up using 8oz per 2 gals water afterwards.
Also typical household bleach is about 5% active ingredient but chlorine you get at a water pump store can be much stronger per equivalent volume.
greynold99
 
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Old 09-08-10, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by greynold99 View Post
I've just setup a Sears 300 water softener, and they suggest 3 Tblsp mixed in the tube inside the brine tank as Bob999 indicates - you're also suppose to add 3 gallons of clean potable water to the larger brine tank - with or without salt/potassium and then initiate a regen.

Don't know if 3 Tblsp's chlorine bleach corresponds to 3 oz. but you want to be careful with too strong a chlorine since that will tend to ruin your softener pellets. Found this out the hard way with a auto-pump chlorinator system that the installer had us initially use too strong a mix - he had us use 1 gal of bleach to 3 gal of water; even with a slug-feed system that was way to strong. I wound up using 8oz per 2 gals water afterwards.
Also typical household bleach is about 5% active ingredient but chlorine you get at a water pump store can be much stronger per equivalent volume.
greynold99
I hope you're not comparing the chlorine added to a brine tank for sanitation purposes and that of adding chlorine to the water supply via an auto-chlorinating pump (for some other water treatmewnt issues).

Putting chlorine in the brine tank and setting it to regenerate has very little negative effect on the resin beads. It comes into contact with the resins form a very brief time and then is flushed out during backwashing.

With chlorine feed systems (if no dechlorianation is involved) the resins are sitting in the solution for extended (and often highly concentrated) times. THIS can cause great damage. Even milder, constant concentrations of municipal supplied chlorine would cause an attrition to the resins over time in relation to the concentration of the chemical and other factors.

But to worry about sanitiziing the softener in this method, I would not be too concerned because the benefits usually outweight the detriments.
 
 

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